About the TMC
Our Mission Statement:
The Transportation Management Center's mission is to detect, verify, and respond to incidents that affect the state transportation network. It serves to improve traffic operations, provide the public with current, accurate and useful travel and commuter information that promotes safe and efficient travel, as well as facilitates the maintenance of New Hampshire's transportation system.
Operations at the TMC began in 2007. Since opening its doors, the TMC places mobility, emergency response operators and managers in a single collaborative environment. The center operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Operators manage traffic at the TMC by coordinating with responders and stakeholders, controlling Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) equipment, and developing and implementing incident response plans.
TMC operators are primarily responsible for:
• Traffic Incident Management - Operators are responsible for receiving and disseminating incident information by documenting, activating, and updating information in an Advanced Traffic Management Software (ATMS) system that then pushes data to a tri-state Traveler Information System (TIS), New England 511. Operators activate Dynamic Message Boards with incident information as well as post out through Social Media “Tweets” to alert the traveling public.
• Service Patrol Management - Service Patrol personnel are DOT employees who respond to incidents, breakdowns or road debris on Interstates I-93 & I-95. They have specific hours of operation and they notify TMC Operators of their service calls. TMC operators have a range of responses from documenting the incident to posting messages on DMS as needed.
• Recurring Traffic Management - Regularly occurring congestion on high demand roadways or travel through work zones during construction and maintenance projects is managed by the TMC in a similar manner to singular traffic incidents promoting safety and increasing mobility for typical travel throughout the state.
• Special Event Management - TMC operators support special events by improving traffic flow in the areas to, from, and around the event by communication through DMS boards, monitoring impacts, and posting information on social networks. The TMC works actively with the Department on the NASCAR races that take place every year in New Hampshire.
• Road & Weather Coordination - TMC operator's role prior to, during and after a weather event varies based on the type and severity of the event. For example, during icy conditions the TMC may down-post speed limits through communication on the DMS boards.
• Emergency Operations - TMC Operators support the operations of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) when disaster events occur. They work with the Emergency Support Staff in keeping the flow of information to the public as up-to-date as possible.
• Security Management - Camera's used for security purposes are monitored by TMC operators such as those located at the Portsmouth Bridges, or the transit centers on I-93.
• Equipment Monitoring - ITS equipment in the field is monitored by DOIT and DOT, and routinely evaluated for possible malfunction, this includes monitoring the image and video delivery of CCTVs, and ensuring messages are displayed on DMS boards correctly.
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Intelligent Transportation Systems
ITS technology can be defined as the application of information technology to surface transportation in order to achieve enhanced safety and mobility, while also reducing the environmental impact of transportation. In the past 7 years the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has made significant investments in ITS to improve the operations of the state's transportation system.
The current ITS infrastructure in NH includes Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Variable Speed Limit (VSL), Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS), as well as the underlying microwave and fiber optic communication infrastructure that supports the devices. These devices serve as the primary method of communication to travelers and TMC operators. The CCTV cameras and RWIS sensors provide to the TMC operators a clearer picture of traffic flow and weather conditions on major roadways.
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Managing traffic involves both responding to unplanned incidents as well as recurring operational planned incidents. Incidents are non-recurring situations that range from minor accidents that affect traffic flow in an isolated area to hazardous weather events that affect the entire state. Recurring events are recurrent congestion that may be a result of ongoing construction or limited roadway capacity. Both can cause significant amounts of congestion, particularly during morning and afternoon commutes.
Several tools are utilized during a traffic incident depending on the type and severity of incident.
• Direct Communication - State and local response agencies coordinate with TMC operators via radio, phone, or email for traffic management efforts so that TMC operators can dispatch and deploy Department of Transportation personnel and resources. New Hampshire State Police is co-located with the TMC Operators to make for a seamless communication bridge when incidents occur.
• Service Patrol - Responders currently patrol I-93 Salem to Manchester Corridor, Everrett Turnpike from Nashua to Concord, the I-95 Corridor from the Massachusetts to Maine borders, and the Spaulding Turnpike from Portsmouth to Rochester. The Service Patrol often serves as the first or only responders to minor incidents on those roadways. Service patrol assists in moving vehicles having minor breakdowns or accidents, and removal of debris. This reduces the probability of secondary impacts caused by unexpected traffic condition changes.
• Traveler Information - By distributing traffic information to travelers they are more aware of road conditions and can make informed decisions regarding alternative routes. Mobility can also be improved as drivers diverge to other roads and incident response times are reduced due to more effective working environments for the responders
• Diversion Plans - Alternative routes are a means to divert traffic when incidents result in serious congestion, lane, or road closures. These plans are developed in collaboration with local planning agencies and responders such as police and fire to ensure that the routes have adequate capacity should the need arise. TMC Operators may post diversion information onto the DMS boards to provide alternative routing for congested traffic when an incident occurs.
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Traveler information distribution is a significant component of an effective traffic management program. By informing travelers of incidents and delay, alternative routes will be identified which leads to improved emergency response times, lower carbon-monoxide emissions, a reduced number of secondary incidents, and reduced delays for travelers.
The TMC uses multiple tools to communicate to travelers throughout the state which include:
• DMS & VSL - Dynamic Message Systems (DMS) are used to display traveler information such as expected delay or work zone information. Variable Speed Limit signs (VSL) display reduced speed limits when necessary.
• Social Networking - Twitter is used to update travelers about poor weather, events, and traffic delays. Travelers subscribe to the feeds associated to get important real time data. To see all the Twitter feeds, please visit our Twitter page.
• TMC operators update a website through the ATMS system that displays to travelers real time traffic information throughout the state. Examples include construction projects, road closure, and traffic congestion levels.
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